Wrapping coffins started as a tribute to his 21-year-old sister who died in January.
Now, Casey Lawhon of Gulfport is offering to create personalized casket wraps for all of the victims of the Texas school shooting.
“I am more than ready and prepared to fly out to Uvalde next week and offer my services to these families in this dark time,” he said in a Facebook post.
He’s created casket art for 15 parents who had to bury their children in the last three months, he said.
Lawhon, 25, called the shooting at Robb Elementary School “a parent’s hell” and has been contacted by a victim’s family member who lives Saucier. He’s also spoken to two parents of other victims, one of which is a father of one of one of the young girls who died in the shooting.
He’s also heard from the director of a funeral home in Texas and a coordinator who is working with the parents to make funeral arrangements, he said.
Just hours after the shooting, he said, a representative of a real estate company called and said they wanted to donate all the caskets and have him create a wrap for each.
Free casket wraps for TX shooting victims
Lawhon already is creating designs incorporating the children’s photos to show the families who might want this tribute. Each wrap has a similar theme, with the child framed by a beautiful sky and flowers at their feet.
The wraps can be customized at the families’ requests, he said. But Lawhon said he needs to get the parents’ permission to do the actual wrap.
There will be no expense for the families for his travel or the wrap. And he’s had to return the donations he’s received after people hear about his possible involvement, he said, and just want to do something to help.
“There is no charge,” he said.
In memory of his sister
Lawhon didn’t set out to wrap caskets for kids and veterans — his business was originally in wrapping cars with designs or advertising.
But Lawhon knows the pain of the families and In Memory Casket Wraps began as a personal final tribute.
“My sister was the first one,” he said.
Raelan Lawhon died in January after being given an oxycodone pill that was unknowingly laced with fentanyl.
He said creating a wrap was “the one last thing I wanted to do for my sister.”
The post of her casket went viral on social media, and other parents began to contact him: The parents of an 18-month-old boy, a 7-year-old girl, a 2-year-old boy who drowned.
When Alexis Pierson died this year in an accidental shooting in Hancock County, he created a wrap to honor her dreams of becoming a TikTok star.
The wraps usually cost between $1,000 and $1,400 and donations have quickly covered the costs for these young children, he said.
Once he creates the design, he wraps a casket at the funeral homes.
It’s heart-breaking when he wraps the casket for one child at a time, he said. For 19 kids, it’s crazy, he said.
“Talking to some of them and just feeling just a fraction of their pain changes my entire outlook on life,” he said.